Loreto and Leinster win big in IHA Awards

Leinster clubs, players, coaches and umpires to the fore in Irish Hockey Awards as they they landed seven out of the seven prizes announced this afternoon while a further two of the three remaining gongs are guaranteed to stay in the province.

Incredibly, just one of the 12 names on the shortlists for Club of the Year, Senior Club Women’s Player of the Year and Senior Club Men’s Player of the Year comes from outside Leinster. Dave Egner receives the one other nod for his performances with Cork Harlequins while there is not a single trophy on the line for Ulster clubs or players.

Loreto's Sinead McGirr is among the nominees for Club Player of the Year Pic: Adrian Boehm

Loreto’s Sinead McGirr is among the nominees for Club Player of the Year Pic: Adrian Boehm

On the flip side, it was an incredible day for Loreto who were awarded three trophies with a high possibility of landing a fourth on the Irish Hockey Awards night as three of their players – Sinead McGirr, Ali Meeke and Nikki Keegan will battle it out with Kate Dillon for women’s club player of the year.

Already in the bag are Umpire of the Year for Fiona Davitt – the Leinster Hockey Umpires President this season – while Inez Cooper wins Volunteer of the Year. She has recently been co-opted onto the European Hockey Federation executive board having played key roles in the delivery of the Irish Hockey League among other roles in recent years.

Graham Shaw also gets a partial nod from the Loreto camp as Coach of the Year having helped the club to the Irish Hockey League finals in the judging period while also getting Rathdown to their first senior cup final. His magnum opus, though, was delivering an IHL and Irish Senior Cup to Monkstown, the latter their first national title in 99 years.

In addition, Town can celebrate Lee Cole’s U-18 player of the year having starred with the Irish U-18s in Poland, too. The sky-blues are up for club of the year along with Loreto, Railway Union and Muckross.

Wicklow won the Developing Club of the Year following growth both on the adult front and also with the expansion of their youth section, all enjoying life at their new pitch in the East Glendalough School.

Mount Anville won school of the year following their Senior Cup win last season while their talisman last season, Sara Twomey – who plays her club hockey with Hermes – won the U-18 women’s player of the year.

Aside from the three aforementioned shortlists, three other awards will be made on Friday, March 21, the day of the event. The Men’s Players Player and Women’s Players Player gongs will be voted on by the senior squad for their choice of player’s player.

The President’s Award is decided upon at the sole discretion of the President to recognise an individual for their outstanding contribution to the sport of hockey. 

Irish Hockey Awards shortlists
Senior Club Women’s Player of the Year: Sinead McGirr (Loreto); Kate Dillon (Railway Union); Ali Meeke (Loreto); Nikki Keegan (Loreto).
Senior Club Men’s Player of the Year: Dave Egner (Cork Harlequins); Gareth Watkins (Monkstown); Ross Canning (UCD); Mark Ingram (Pembroke Wanderers)
Club of The Year: Loreto; Monkstown; Railway Union, Muckross.

Irish Hockey Awards winners
U18 Girls Player of the Year: Sara Twomey (Hermes)
U18 Boys Player of the Year: Lee Cole (Monkstown)
Coach of the Year: Graham Shaw
Volunteer of the Year: Inez Cooper (Loreto)
Hockey School of the Year: Mount Anville
Umpire of the Year: Fiona Davitt
Developing Club of The Year: Wicklow Hockey Club

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